Future teachers will be required to repudiate the American dream — “the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits” == at University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, writes Katherine Kersten in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
According to a task force’s proposal, American dreamers will not be recommended for licensure on the grounds they lack “cultural competence” to teach non-white students.
The report advocates making race, class and gender politics the “overarching framework” for all teaching courses at the U.
. . . The first step toward “cultural competence,” says the task group, is for future teachers to recognize — and confess — their own bigotry.
The task group recommends requiring prospective teachers to prepare a report on their prejudices and stereotypes with points for admitting to bias.
The goal of these exercises, in the task group’s words, is to ensure that “future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression.”
. . . In particular, aspiring teachers must be able “to explain how institutional racism works in schools.”
Finally, future teachers would be required to analyze the “myth of meritocracy in the United States,” the “history of demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values, [and] history of white racism, with special focus on current colorblind ideology.”
Those who resist would be subject to a “remediation plan.”
I envision prospective teachers who think students of all colors, creeds, classes and sexual orientations are capable of learning, if they’re taught well and do the work. But the time they might have spent learning how to teach reading, writing, math, science or history has been devoted to faddish drivel.
In a letter to the university president, FIRE argues the plan — which includes denying admission to applicants with the wrong beliefs — is unconstitutional, “a severe affront to liberty and a disservice to the very ideal of a liberating education.” Here’s FIRE’s analysis.